Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Taste and Smell

Lately I have been feeling very nostalgic. Things keep popping up that remind me of days gone by. Especially tastes and smells. Earlier this summer I ate my first watermelon of the year. Just one bite and I was back on my Papa Nash's farm in Arkansas. It was somewhat of a shock to me. I have great memories of the farm and think of it often, but I had no idea that one bite of watermelon would make me wish I could go there. Running to the pigpen to see the pigs, playing in the hayloft and getting in trouble for scattering hay everywhere, walking on the rocks around the flowerbeds...ahh good times.

Another memory came in the form of a smell. I got a free bottle of Avon bodywash at a picnic. The first time I used it I smelled my Mamaw Owen's bathroom. I loved that bathroom. It had a pedestal sink and a claw foot tub. There was a chest of drawers that had no telling how many coats of paint on it in the corner. The bathroom door closed automatically so there was a little wooden stool that she used to prop the door open. The light had to be turned on by pulling a string hanging from the bulb in the center of the room. And there was Avon. The top of the dresser was covered with bottles and tubes of powders, lotions, and shampoos, and the top drawer held even more goodies. For a little girl it was like heaven!

I also had a memory of my parents' home when I made black-eyed peas and cornbread for dinner the other night. That memory doesn't have a specific place since my family moved around so much, but just a feeling of being in my parents' house eating vegetables for dinner. My black-eyed peas weren't as good as my mom's because we can't get ham to season them with here, but they still could bring back the memory of good home cooking.

It made me kind of sad to think about these memories. My grandparent's sold their farm and moved into town when I was in high school so it has been 20 years since I've seen it, and Papa Nash died in 2002. My Mamaw Owen sold the house with the bathroom right after we moved to Turkey so I won't have a chance to relax in that old fashioned tub anymore. I love these memories and am sad that my kids won't know these places personally. I wonder what memories they will have when they are older. I wonder what will trigger memories of the way they grew up or of special times. It will be interesting to see since they are growing up in a foreign country.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Worn Out!

This week was Vacation Bible School week on the joint forces military base in town. That meant getting up no later than 7am to leave the house by 8am. We drove a loop around our neighborhood to pick people up and then headed off to have fun. It was fun. But for some reason it wears me out! Every year by the end I am so ready for it to be over. I think it is because I have late sleepers in my house so having everyone up and ready to leave so early is tiring. I'm glad that VBS happens so late in the summer because it is a good way to prepare for starting school. The early mornings are helping us get up, but the day ends earlier than a normal school day which for right now is great!

Next week we are going to a conference which will last from Sunday night until Friday morning. We will have early mornings and all day activities again. We are staying in a nice hotel which will be fun I'm sure. And the weather will be a lot cooler than it has been in town here! That will be really nice!

We arrive back home on Friday evening and then on Sunday we head to Istanbul to spend a couple of days with Brian's parents. They are taking a cruise out of Istanbul so we thought we would go see them off. We will end up missing the first day of school on September 3, but we will be back in time for day 2.

That's it. What we've done, what we are doing, and what we are going to do.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

No Snow + No Rain = No Water

This past winter was pretty mild here in Turkey. There wasn't much snow. It was actually really nice! Then this past spring there wasn't much rain which again seemed pretty nice at the time. I guess if we had a yard that needed watering I might have complained some! But, now, unfortunately we really need water. The water supply for our city is dangerously low. We have had water cuts all across the city due to the shortage. The city managers have known that the lack of water would be a problem for a while now, and we have wondered why they didn't start cutting the water back in the winter when they realized it would run short. This next portion I copied and pasted from an article appearing in a local paper. "The Ankara mayor is appearing on television programs and claims that he did not err, the water scarcity problem is because God wished so and should He say “Happen” in one day we may have such rainfall that all the reservoirs of Ankara will be filled with water. He calls on people to perform rain prayers, but even by saying so, the mayor is engaging in discriminative propaganda and dividing the nation into two groups: Those who have the word of Allah in their mouths, and those who do not. He is saying, “I want those who have the word Allah in their mouths to pray for rain, and those who do not, they may not pray at all...”

So I can't decide if I should pray for rain or not. I want water, but I don't want the credit for rain to go to Allah or the prayers of those who call on him. Hmmmm....

Monday, August 13, 2007

Well, we did it.

We finally slept in the living room last night. It was nice to need blankets again! I took these pictures about midnight last night when the kids were sleeping. They never knew!

The room was pitch black when I took the pictures so I had a hard time seeing who was actually in them. Jacob is the kid you can barely see on the far right sleeping in the fold out chairs. Erica is at the foot of Anna Grace and Will.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

It's hot!!!!!

So we bought an air conditioner for our house. Actually it's a wall unit in our living room. It only cools the living room, but since that is where we spend the majority of our time it has been wonderful! We haven't slept in the living room yet, but today was really hot and we're considering it. Here is a picture of the unit on our wall.

Here is the unit that sits outside on the balcony. They usually attach them to the wall, but this unit was so big and heavy they said it would be better on the balcony. We only use the balcony it is on for storage purposes so that was fine with us.

Everyone that comes over loves to walk into the cool living room. We love it, too!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Our New Phone

I sent an email out to many of you telling you about our new phone. I have only gotten a couple of phone calls so I'm thinking that either people don't really believe that they can call me for free or people have forgotten about me since I've been away from the states for 6 1/2 months. But, I'm counting on it being reason number one!

So here's the low down on our new phone. For over a year people with our company all over Turkey have been getting phone numbers from Vonage. I never really thought that much about it or really even knew what it was, but we kept getting emails with different people's new Vonage phone numbers. While we were in the states three people with our company and in our city got Vonage phones. When we arrived back in Turkey we started asking questions about what Vonage really was. And it was amazing! We were able to choose an area code from anywhere in America. Then people from that same area code could call us for free. Also the great thing was that we could make phone calls to any area code in America for free. Vonage number to Vonage number calls were free, and calls to the UK, France, Spain, Italy, and Ireland were also free. Calls to many other countries were only 1 cent a minute! It seemed crazy. It works through our high speed internet, but doesn't cost anything through them. We pay $24.99 plus tax a month to Vonage. We just have to hook up our Vonage phone box to our router/modem and it works. We chose an 832 area code, because my parents have the same area code. My brothers and sisters can all call for free because they have phone services that allow them to call most Houston area numbers for free. That means for them most 281, 832, and 713 numbers are free. So if you can, please give us a call. I included our phone number in the email I sent out saying I updated our blog. If for some reason you didn't get it and you want to call me comment on here, and I will email it to you! If you want to check out the Vonage website yourself please do. www.vonage.com We have the Residential Premium Unlimited Plan...fyi.


And now pictures of our trip to Ephesus. I haven't labeled them, but there are pictures of the large and small amphitheaters, the building facade is the library, and then various other pictures around the town.


On our recent trip to Ephesus, Laodicea, Canakkale, and Istanbul we stayed at several hotels. One of the best things was having air conditioned rooms to sleep in! It was so hot outside!!!!

The first hotel we stayed in was in Selcuk, the modern town close to the Ephesus ruins. It was cute and quaint. Translation - small! But all we needed was a toilet, shower, and bed to be happy! Oh, and air conditioning...and it had all of those things. One thing we have noticed about the bathrooms in some hotels is how they try to conserve space. The bathroom in this hotel was small. The door to the entire bathroom was a glass shower door. The shower was right behind the door. Basically, we just showered in that little room getting the toilet, sink and whatever else happened to be in the room wet. Fun times.

Notice where I had to stand in order to see in the mirror and use the sink. Thankfully the sink was tiny so there was room for me to stand there. Also notice that the mirror is too high for me to see much more than the top half of my head. I could have stood on the toilet to see the rest of me, I guess! You can see the door to the bathroom to the left in the picture, and I actually sat on the toilet to shave my legs!

My super-cool roommate for the trip. Kristina was the only girl from our home fellowship to come on the trip so I got to be her roommate. Yea!!! Brian shared a hotel room with the guys for the three nights we were gone.

Looking down from the second floor of our hotel in Selcuk. This is where we ate breakfast...the french toast was yummy!

I didn't get pictures from our other two hotels, but they weren't cute or quaint...just normal two twin bed hotel rooms.


Recently we had the opportunity to visit the ruins of Laodicea, one of the 7 churches mentioned in Revelation. There were quite a few ruins on a hill, but they wouldn't let us take pictures. We saw roads, and there were two amphitheaters in behind the ruins. We didn't actually see them, but that's what the map said! These pictures were taken a little ways away from the main site they were excavating. According to the map it was once a bath house. I was amazed at how the arches were still standing! And it was also amazing to see how much soil had filled in the doorway after so many years! I didn't bother labeling the pictures, but...fyi...the people in the pictures are from a group from our home fellowship. Oh and fyi again...the 7 churches mentioned in Revelation are all found in Turkey. Come visit and we will take you to see what's left of them!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Back and almost on track!

I've been out of town and out of touch on a trip with some volunteers for the past week. While I get myself together and get my pictures on the computer I'll leave you with some pictures from a past summer trip. Thanks Kara from HITC, for the great pictures.

Nuts, raisins, dried fruits, and Turkish delight

A normal sight this time of year. Corn can be found boiled or grilled and sold on the street. It isn't the nice sweet corn we have in the states though. They say it is "milk corn", but we would actually consider it feed corn. The grilled corn is better than the boiled.

Baklava through a bakery window

Food waiting to be served

A man slicing off pieces of beef doner from the vertical spit. It can be eaten on bread, over rice, or wrapped in a tortilla. It is yummy!